Earnings season is in full swing with Intel INTC , Advanced Micro Devices AMD , Microsoft MSFT , Netflix NFLX and Lam Research LRCX among many other reporting earnings last week.

Here's a look at the top stories:

Earnings Highlights

Intel : Intel reported revenue and earnings that were both ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The Client and Data Center segments, which make up 85% of revenue were up both sequentially and year over year. IoT also saw notable growth.

Two factors were of concern: first, the PC market inventory build given Intel's dependence on the market and second, continued softness at the enterprise that impacted data center growth rates. Read more: Intel (INTC) Beats Q3 Earnings, Q4 Guidance Disappoints .

AMD : AMD also beat on top and bottom with both segments recording improvement. The Client segment benefited from the stronger PC market and the strength of its GPU product line. The Semi-custom segment, which is larger grew much stronger. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to generate profits.

It's encouraging that the company finally started generating cash from operations but worrying that it had to turn to both the equity and debt markets for additional funds. Its Zen chip that was supposed to beat offerings from all competitors still has an uncertain launch date. Read More: Advanced Micro (AMD) Achieves Breakeven in Q3 Earnings

Microsoft : Microsoft looks like an old company with new legs. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates for both revenue and earnings. Azure revenue continues to grow strongly as the company doubles down on collaborations and partnerships. This approach, with a view to maximize choices for customers, has helped it record commercial cloud revenue growth run rate of $13 billion, on track to reach the $20 billion target by 2018. Read more: Microsoft (MSFT) Beats Q1 Earnings on Strong Cloud Growth

Netflix : Netflix reported revenue and earnings ahead of expectations with both domestic and international revenue growing strongly and partially offset by the expected decline in DVDs. Subscribers grew across the business, helped by popular new titles and international expansion.

The Netflix story is always about trying to find the balance between growth initiatives through international expansion and content addition on the one hand and subscriber growth on the other (since subscription fees are more or less fixed). In that respect, the company has every intention of spending more on original content and strengthening its regional focus in the countries in which it has expanded. Read more: Netflix (NFLX) Gains on Solid Q3 Earnings, Subscriber Growth

Lam Research : Lam Research beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on earnings while missing on revenues. The 3D NAND and other emerging memory technologies present significant opportunities for Lam to pick up additional share of the WFE market. FinFET and multi-patterning technologies are other growth drivers. For details on the quarter read: Lam Research (LRCX) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Lags Revenue

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Other stories you might have missed-


Cricket Match Streaming Rights : The Indian Premier League Twenty20 (IPL) is seeing record bids for the next season and for good reason. India's IT trade association Nasscom and Akamai Technologies estimate that India's Internet population will jump from 193 million in 2013 to 462 million this year to 730 million by 2019.

More importantly, more than a billion fans in the cricket-crazy country tuned in to the IPL last season, making it one of the most popular events in the world. In addition to the usual contenders 21st-Century-Fox-owned Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India and ESPN Digital Media (India), this year saw British bidders Sky and BT, as well as Internet players Amazon AMZN , Twitter and Facebook FB joining in the fray.

Amy Organizational Changes : Cisco is reorganizing to adapt itself to the software-focused world and one of the ways to do this is by taking out costs. Chief digital officer (CDO) Kevin Bandy who joined the company last year, has announced that there will be a reduction in the number of business models (Cisco apparently operated 70) so "IT, sales, engineering and channel partners no longer have to bear the cost of supporting so many choices." Another way to do this is by bringing on required talent.

For this purpose, it has brought on its board of directors founder and CEO of Accompany Inc. Chang's previous experience includes that of global head of product for Google Ads Measurement and Reporting, product management and strategy roles at eBay and consultant position at McKinsey with a specialization in semiconductors, software and services.

Objections to California Self-Driving Car Rules : At a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, Google and traditional automakers objected to California's proposals to set new, mandatory rules for testing self-driving cars in the state. Since most of the testing for self-driving cars is going on in the state, the decision is a big problem and could set back the launch of cars by a year they claim.

Denial of Service Attack : Web infrastructure provider Dynamic Network Services Inc, also known as Dyn has said that it experienced two Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on Friday. The company provides the infrastructure on which many companies offer web-based services. So it's not surprising that Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, Amazon Cloud Services, Tumblr, among others reported difficulties.

A DoS attack floods networks with junk data so legitimate users cant access services. The hacker hasn't been identified/named, but the possibility that this could be part of a bigger attack to be launched later is real.

Alibaba Raising $1 Billion for Koubei : Alibaba would like to expand its O2O local-services platform Koubei, for which it is looking to raise a billion dollars, valuing the company at around $8 billion. Current investors in Koubei are Alibaba and its financial arm Ant Financial, but the two are apparently looking toward international funds from friendly companies and they've hired Credit Suisse to reach out to them. Online to Offline (O2O), i.e. online ordering of offline services like food delivery is a fast growing market, so recovery of investment shouldn't be a challenge.

HP Outlook, Job Cuts : HP has provided its outlook for 2017. Accordingly, the company expects GAAP earnings of $1.47 to $1.57 (non-GAAP $1.55 to $1.65) and free cash flow of $2.3 to $2.6 billion. It expects to return 50-75% of fiscal 2017 free cash flow to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, and so increased the share repurchase authorization by $3 billion and the dividend by 7%. The company is looking to reduce its headcount by 3K to 4K over the next three years due to pressures in its core markets and uncertain macroeconomic conditions.


EU Court Advisor Backs Intel : Advocate General Nils Wahl at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has advised that the case against Intel for abuse of power should be referred back to the General Court for a fresh review. Intel had offered rebates and discounts that were deemed to be anti-competitive by the courts as they prevented AMD from selling its cheaper alternatives, thereby harming European consumers.

Wahl now says that these facts weren't established and its deals with Lenovo weren't proved harmful for consumers before Intel was fined 1.06 billion euros. He also said that the EC had breached a procedural law when it failed to record its meeting with a Dell executive on the case. The advice is not legally binding, judges at the ECJ usually decide in line with such advice. Good for Intel.

Netflix Lawsuits : Netflix has sued 21 st Century Fox for bullying employees into signing long-term contracts that forced them into "involuntary servitude." Netflix says these fixed-term agreements are unlawful and it is seeking a declaration that they are unenforceable and an injunction against Fox from using them, plus legal fees. The week before, Fox sued Netflix for poaching employees.

Talent has become a point of tension between the two companies ever since Netflix started its original programming operations and the company clearly has plans to continue pulling employees from Fox. Fighting over employees leads to wage inflation and can improve products and choice for consumers (such as the Netflix service). On the other hand, wage inflation means higher costs for companies that drive up product prices, ultimately hurting consumers.

New Technology/Products

Facebook Networking Switch Technology : Through the Open Compute Nertwork (OCP) that it founded, Facebook has released its second generation Wedge 100 switch. The product is being sold by its Chinese contract manufacturer Edgecore. The OCP has doubled down on democratizing the Internet by reducing the cost of operational hardware and was probably started because of the huge IT resources Facebook itself needs.

After all, if you need to buy that kind of hardware, it will make a dent in your cash pile. So Facebook is ensuring that much of what it uses will be available cheap. OCP partners include Intel, Microsoft, Ubuntu, HP and Arista Networks among many others.

Facebook Food Delivery, Recommendations, More : Facebook is known as the world's largest social network, but it will soon be known for much more. Zuckerberg and team seem to be doing everything possible so users never leave the platform. Soon after announcing Marketplaces for product browsing, Facebook says it will start displaying a "Start Order" button on restaurants' Facebook pages that users can click on to place orders.

The system works for restaurants that have signed up with or Slice. Users can also post queries or book appointments with local businesses. The Events feature now allows users to browse friends' activity or recommendations for events based on their own prior activity/preferences.

So basically, if you're looking for entertainment or food or someone to fix your wiring, you just need to log in to Facebook and see what your friends are up to, check out the services most people seem to be recommending and place your order. That simple.

Microsoft at IACP 2016 : At the 123rd annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, predictive policing solution provider PredPol announced that it chose Azure Government to run its cloud-based crime analytics solutions for policemen. The solution uses an algorithm to match the type, place, date and time of crimes in the past to determine the places and times when crimes will most likely happen in the future.

Azure's compliance, security and international service likely helped the choice. A Microsoft patrol car was also showcased featuring Windows 10 based devices and technologies (drones, 360-degree video analytics, robots, live video streaming, body-worn video camera solutions). Microsoft is also facilitating two-way communication through Azure.

Google TV Service :Google is launching a TV service on YouTube called Unplugged and the WSJ says it is close to signing on 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Company, and Comcast Corp.'s NBC Universal for the purpose. Google's plan is apparently to launch a skinny bundle with some of these channels for $25-$40 a month, thereby helping cord-cutting and younger customers cut costs.

But negotiations won't be smooth for Google: content providers are leery of Google's promoting YouTube stars that are gradually being moved to its premium service, which can affect their ability to produce content. A somewhat lesser problem is the fact that they don't like the idea of data and tweet streams overlaying the content.

Google Improves GFlights : The GFlights, or Google Flights app will now notify users on mobile or through email when the current fare on a flight expires and the amount of money to be saved if tickets are bought before it does. Google's Flights app allows people to comparison shop for airline tickets and its success has put the company on the radar for many holiday bookers.

While Google doesn't actually sell any holiday accommodations or transportation services, it makes it possible for individual hotels and airlines to reach a wide audience, thereby broadening their distribution choices. Companies like Expedia and Priceline do the same thing, but their dominance has led to an escalation in prices. That's why Google's service offers leverage against further price increases.

Amazon Pocket-Size Drone : Amazon has won a patent for a voice or app-controlled pocket-size drone that it says can serve various purposes, such as locating a lost child, finding a car in a crowded parking lot, tracking people in a burning building, videotaping athletic stunts and helping policemen track suspects. The drone could sit on the shoulder and wait for commands.

M&A and Collaborations

Cisco-Buys Worklife : Cisco has been beefing up its collaboration offerings with a series of acquisitions and Worklife is the latest. Cisco intends to integrate the company's productivity solutions to enhance its virtual meeting platform Spark. This will facilitate the tracking of calendars, the creation of agendas and real-time collaboration on note-taking and other matters.

Some Numbers

iPhone 7 Numbers : According to a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the iPhone 7 accounted for 43% of third quarter iPhone sales in the U.S. despite the fact that it was on sale for just the last two weeks. iPhone 7 was more popular at 31% and iPhone 7 Plus at 12%. iPhone SE in its first full quarter of sales accounted for 9% of iPhone sales. Significantly, the report shows that 9% of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus buyers upgraded from an Android phone while 17-21% of other iPhone buyers came from Android.

Other Companies That Reported Last Week : International Business Machines , Seagate , Yahoo , eBay , KLA-Tencor


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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